This years National Para Cycling Championships were once again held in Echuca, Victoria, this past weekend and although later than last year it certainly didn’t stop people from taking part. The Championships were supposed to have been held in April but the UCI had set the Para Track World’s on the same weekend in Mexico, so hence the change to May. I was a bit concerned about what the weather would be like so late in the season and I tell you the weather gods didn’t disappoint. I don’t think I have ever had so many challenging conditions in a couple of races!
I headed up to Echuca on the Thursday morning and was meeting the lovely Hannah MacDougall there to go and speak at the Echuca College. We both had individual talks to give and then one that we presented together on Thursday and then Friday we returned to the College to speak together again to a combined class. I hope that we were able to both Motivate and Challenge the students, at least we got a couple of laughs out of them. But it was interesting to note that it is so different talking to high school age kids than primary. Seems that the primary kids are more open to ask questions and not scared to ask anything. Whereas the high school kids just sit and listen. I think that most of the questions were asked by the teachers! But hopefully we were able to impart some wisdom before we left.
It was then on to focusing on the races that we had to do. Saturday was the Time Trial and Sunday the Road Race. The weather wasn’t looking too good for Saturday and at 4:30am when I heard the thundering rain I realized that the weather man probably had got it right this time. But once at the course it seemed fine, just overcast and there was hope that the rain would hold off. Not to be!!! Just as we got underway it started again and continued throughout the entire TT, which made the corners very slippery. But I had a goal in mind and I just had to control what I could and get on with the job. In the end I was extremely happy with my result, winning the TT with an average speed of 33.4 km/hr over the 15.9km course.